Ranger Cove: Bald Eagle nest and Osprey nest
 
I was finally able to get to Ranger Cove!
 
Bald Eagle Nest
Ranger Mom was sitting on her eggs/chicks.  The eggs may have hatched but I couldn’t be certain yet.
Ranger Dad did a fly-by, but was too quick for me to catch a photo of him.
 
 
 
Osprey Nest
 
The autumn and winter weather took down the osprey’s old nest.  No problem. 
The parent ospreys picked another tree and are hard at work on a new nest.
Here Dad Osprey supervises the delivery of a new nest stick by Mom Osprey.
 
 
I am not sure that I really want to know what Dad Osprey is saying about Mom Osprey’s apparent landing point!

Osprey dive at somewhere between 30-50 mph on average.
 
The dive goes like this:
 
Fish spotted and instant flight path changed from horizontal to vertical.
 
 
Picking up diving speed by becoming completely vertical.
 
 
Preparing horizontal attack path.
 
 
Plow into the water.
 
 
Climbing out of the water.
 
 
Heading home with breakfast.
 

Ospreys go in, I mean often way deep under water when fishing.
The dive picks up a lot of water on the body of the osprey.
Water weighs 8.35 pounds per gallon.
Flight calls for a bird without an excess load to haul into the air.
Ospreys do a shake to shed the excess water. The shake is just like what a wet dog does.
The shake starts at the beak and twists through to the tail.
Here you can see the osprey is ahead of the spray and the shake has gotten almost to the tail feathers.

Osprey Fish Dance in 4 Steps
 
The osprey is superb at hovering over the water, watching a fish.
 
 
The twist in midair to track the fish.
 
 
The impact into the Haw River, which is running at 10,000 cubic feet per second. 
See this morning’s FB video and realize this approximately 3 pound bird is fishing in FAST moving water.
 
 
Fish caught.  Now to make a run for the nest before the bald eagles realize the osprey has a catch.
 
 

Event Invitation:  Saturday, March 23, 2019, from 2:00 to 3:00PM.

The dynamic fish hunter the Osprey, has started its late winter migration back towards the Lake.  What a great time to discuss the interactions of the Ospreys and Bald Eagles of Jordan Lake!  Please join Doc Ellen and Ranger McMurray for an indoor/outdoor presentation about these magnificent predators.  We will also discuss other migratory birds, warblers, sparrows etc. that come north in the spring. Weather permitting, we will spend some time outside after the indoor portion.  Please dress accordingly.  No reservations required, just show up!  
For questions, email steve.mcmurray@ncparks.gov or contact Doc Ellen via her Facebook Page.
 
An Osprey parent and an immature Bald Eagle face off because the eagle got too close to the osprey’s nest.